Wide receiver Dez Bryant tore his Achilles on Friday just two practices into his New Orleans Saints career, ending his 2018 season before it began. But the team "would be open to Bryant coming back" if he is healthy, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
It will be a while before Bryant can put that to the test, with Rapoport noting the veteran is likely facing a six- to nine-month recovery.
Bryant's new teammates were quick to offer him support in the wake of his season-ending injury:
Bryant, 30, spent the first half of the season as a free agent after he was cut by the Dallas Cowboys in April. He caught 69 passes for 838 yards and six scores in 2017.
Dallas decided that production didn't warrant the $12.5 million he was due in 2018. In his prime with the Cowboys, Bryant was one of the game's top receivers and most dangerous weapons, registering at least 88 receptions, 1,200 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns each season from 2012 to 2014.
Injuries cost him 10 games in 2015-16, however, and by last season Bryant's days as a dynamic No. 1 seemed behind him.
In New Orleans, he wasn't expected to be much more than a third or fourth option. Michael Thomas highlights the wideout group, Alvin Kamara is the team's offensive focal point, and players like wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith and tight end Benjamin Watson have carved out roles for themselves in the offense.
Still, Bryant could have provided the team with a dangerous weapon in the red zone and solid No. 2 wideout behind Thomas. Those plans are over for this season. Whether the Saints keep them in mind this offseason and retain Bryant remains to be seen.